It’s that time of the year again when working mums everywhere are begging, borrowing and stealing to try and get childcare sorted for the summer holidays! The summer holidays certainly aren’t all fun when you have to work.
We’re in our second year of school holidays now and it’s certainly hard to manage it all. I could do with my own PA to schedule everything.
If you still have days to try and fill, here’s how we manage to sort childcare in the summer holidays…
If you work then, like most parents, you’ll probably use up most of your holiday allowance for the school holidays. Even though it’s so much more expensive, we go on our family holiday in the summer holidays as it’s 2 weeks childcare out of the 6 sorted! After that, the husband and I take one day a week off each and use up most of our annual leave.
We’re very lucky that we have wonderful parents who help out every week with Little H in the holidays and have done since she was a baby. This sorts 2-3 days childcare every week in the summer. My lovely nan will also do a half day if we’re stuck which is great in an emergency. If your parents can’t help, try asking siblings, aunts, uncles – any relative who might like to see your kids for the day!
Now that Little H is older (6) it’s easier to leave her with her friends for the day and not worry too much about leaving her. I’ve got a good arrangement with one of her friend’s mums who also works. She’ll have Little H round her house on a few of her days off, and I’ll do the same with her daughter on some of my days off. It’s a win-win – the girls love seeing each other, it keeps them occupied, and there are no childcare costs. Definitely worth thinking about if there’s another mum you trust to look after your child. Maybe you can arrange some playdates with another school mum.
If you’ve exhausted all the free options then, unfortunately, you’ll have to end up paying a fortune for childcare. Last year we sent Little H to her old nursery – I don’t like leaving her with people we don’t know so this was a good option as she’s known the staff for a couple of years. It’s so expensive though and this year the cost went up to £31 per day! We decided against it and have booked Little H into a couple of gymnastics days at her club which are much cheaper. If you’re looking for holiday clubs then some good options are the various sports clubs run by local sports centres.
How do you deal with the school holidays if you work?